Paul Boissier responds to the Daily Mail

You will most likely be aware from our previous news article and on social media that the Daily Mail published an article over the weekend that didn’t put across our side of the story in a balanced way.
Paul Boissier, Chief Executive of the RNLI

Photo: David Devins

In response to this, the national newspaper has today published a letter from Chief Executive Paul Boissier, which you can read at the bottom of this article.  

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our volunteers for everything that you have done over the last few days to protect our charity’s reputation and everything that you continue to do to keep our lifesaving service running and to prevent people in our local communities from drowning.

Every one of you plays a vital part in saving lives and belongs to a charity that prides itself on its staff and volunteers behaving in a way that reflects the RNLI values (trustworthy, selfless, dependable and courageous) so that no behaviour stands in the way of what matters – keeping people safe.

If you missed the full story that we provided to the Daily Mail, please click here to read it. It will also help you to answer any questions you may get as a volunteer of the RNLI if you require more detail.

Since the weekend, charity trade media such as Civil Society has also published much more positive articles here and here that you may like to read.

We hope this is a useful update for you.

The RNLI performs an essential public service, saving about 500 lives each year and rescuing or helping over 30,000 people. People want and expect us to be an organisation that they can feel proud of, and where people from all backgrounds can feel welcome.

So when we receive reports of bullying or aggressive behaviour at our stations; when we hear of a lifeboat being taken for a joy-ride in a near-gale, and so be unavailable for its principle role of lifesaving; and when we hear about mugs portraying explicit pornographic images, being no relation to the mock ups shown in the media, being openly used in a lifeboat station crew room, we have no option but to investigate and take appropriate action.

This is not a witch-hunt. It is not political-correctness gone wild. It is an organisation that recognises that even courageous volunteers need to behave and maintain the trust of the people whose support we depend. That standard of behaviour is not negotiable.

We take no shortcuts in looking after our courageous volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards who venture out into some of the most dangerous seas in the world. That requires a variety of technical skills of the very highest order, across a number of disciplines. The head office staff are not ‘pen-pushers’; they are dedicated and skilled people that enable the RNLI to operate its services safely.

Vice Admiral Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, Poole, Dorset.